North West of England local restrictions: What you can and cannot do

31 July 2020, 09:31 | Updated: 7 June 2023, 08:56

Police talk to people in Heaton Park, Manchester, about lockdown rules
Police talk to people in Heaton Park, Manchester, about lockdown rules. Picture: PA

By Adrian Sherling

The Government's announced a ban on different households meeting indoors in parts of northern England in response to a spike in coronavirus cases. Here is what the new rules say.

The restrictions affect more than 4 million people across Greater Manchester and parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire. They won't be allowed to mix in each other's homes or gardens or in places like pubs and restaurants.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told LBC: "We are worried from the new information that we've got, that the biggest impact in terms of the number of contacts people have when they tested positive is meeting other households at home and visiting friends and relatives.

Here is everything you need to know about the new coronavirus lockdown rules.

What are the new rules?

If you live in one of the affected areas, you are not allowed to:

- meet people you do not live with inside a private home or garden

- visit someone else’s home or garden even if they live outside of the affected areas

- socialise with people you do not live with in other indoor public venues, such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions. You are allowed to attend these venues with people you live with (or are in a support bubble with), but should avoid interaction with others.

- the one exception is where you have formed a support bubble with another household

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Can you still meet people outdoors?

People in the affected areas can still meeting in public outdoor spaces in groups of no more than six people - unless the group includes only people from two households.

You cannot meet people you do not live within a private garden.

At all times, you should socially distance from people you do not live with – unless they are in your support bubble.

Do these rules include celebrations for Eid?

Conservative MP Craig Whittaker told LBC the rules were put in place partly to stop the large gatherings expected due to Eid.

The government guidance says: "Due to higher rates of infection, if you live in this area you should not host or visit friends and family in each other’s homes or gardens. It will shortly be illegal to do so, unless specific exemptions apply. You also should not meet friends and family in other venues – including restaurants or cafes.

"Up to two households, or six people from any number of households may meet outdoors (excluding people’s gardens) where there is a lower risk of infection. If you do so, you should still socially distance from those you do not live with, and avoid physical contact."

You may attend a mosque or other place or worship, where Covid-19 Secure guidance applies, but you must socially distance from people outside of your household. This means maintaining a distance of 2 metres, or 1 metre with mitigations (such as wearing face coverings). The government recommends that, if possible, prayer/religious services take place outdoors.

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Can you still go to pubs or restaurants in these areas?

Yes, that is still permitted. But you should only go with members of your own household, even if you are going outside of the restricted area.

Can you still go to work in these areas?

Yes. People living inside and outside of this area can continue to travel in and out for work, but workplaces must have Covid-19 Secure guidance in place.

Can a wedding still go ahead in these areas?

Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies can still go ahead. The rules state that no more than 30 people should attend at a venue where social distancing is possible. Any celebration after the ceremony should follow the broader social distancing guidance of involving no more than two households in any location or, if outdoors, up to six people from different households.

You can travel outside the lockdown area for a wedding and are allowed into the area for one as well - as long as they don't go into a private home or garden.

Police patrol Heaton Park in Manchester
Police patrol Heaton Park in Manchester. Picture: PA

Can you be fined for breaking the rules?

The police will be able to take action against those that break these rules.

They have powers to ask people to disperse and are able to issue fines. These start at £100, halving to £50 if paid in the first 14 days, and doubling for subsequent offences.

What areas are affected by the new local lockdown rules?

The restrictions affect more than 4 million people across Greater Manchester and parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire.

Greater Manchester
City of Manchester

Blackburn with Darwen

West Yorkshire